Children’s Beach House BBQ in Lewes

BBQ on the Bay

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I have to tell you, dear readers—I struck out yet again when it came to Mother Nature’s tempestuous ways. Talk about a drama queen. And I thought I was bad. The Children’s Beach House of Lewes was on the wrong side of the forecast on Aug. 25. Horrible storms hung heavy and fierce over much of Southern Delaware, but it didn’t stop folks from coming out to celebrate the Beach BBQ—an event 10 years strong.

I found a white-jacketed George Beckerman giving anyone who’d lend an ear an oral history of CBH. Is he proud? Not at all. As I tried to listen in, very smooth-like, Beckerman called me out. Leaning in, not bothering to whisper, he quipped, “Hey. Are you a spy? If so, you might try not wearing yellow next time.” Thanks, Georgie. Luckily his VIP date Mary Helms, vice president of the CBH board, stepped in. Gushing with pride over the CBH’s next great endeavor, the Margaret H. Rollins Child Development Center, Helms gave me a personal tour of the space for the pre-school. The room, which opens to an expansive view of the Delaware Bay, is stunning. “This is something that means so much to me,” she said. “I can’t even tell you how just having lunch with the children changes me. It’s so amazing to see these children, who, maybe when they first started here weren’t communicating, and now they want to sit at lunch with me. It’s humbling.”

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It was hard to get a moment alone with chicly bespectacled Emilee Reynolds, the founder of the Beach BBQ, but I did overhear—yellow dress be damned—her talking with friend Michele Rollins about how CBH took care to ensure elements of all nine previous BBQs were on display for big No. 10.

Speaking of big, did I mention CBH also turned 75 that night? “Yeah, we were going to have fireworks,” deadpanned CBH director of development Amanda Ryan as she gestured to the downpour beating furiously on the windows. “Whomp whomp whomp.”

But who needs fireworks with a spark plug like Linda Lee running around? Lee and I gabbed like long-lost pals, swapping shopping secrets and coveted wines, although really I was just hoping to charm her out of her gorgeous orange-and-yellow blazer. “I really have to be careful,” Lee confided. “I think I wore this to another event recently, and it’s not a jacket you’d forget! I’m going to have to start wearing it upstate soon.”

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